Mariachi, America’s political problems begin and end with the influence of money in electoral politics.
Elected officials can be bought in many ways but they prefer large amounts of money to finance their re-election campaigns.
These officials are making careers in ‘public service.’ In the old days people served a call of duty and then went back to their regular occupations. President Harry Truman is a good example of the old school public servant.
In addition to the negative influence of money in campaigns and lobbyists writing legislation the American system is further corrupted at its most essential level at the Supreme Court.
Mariachi, the US Supreme Court’s rendering of its Citizens United decision allowing unlimited corporate financing to candidates, based on the specious argument that corporate giving is a form of protected speech, is of course the worst Supreme Court decision since Plessy vs Ferguson upholding Jim Crow laws.
The affirming justices should be ashamed but the winning majority on the bench knows they’ve reset the political landscape in which each presidential candidate will spend over one billion dollars each for their run for the presidency.
Since the justices’ decision is the final say-so based on their interpretation of the constitution itself, it will most likely be a constitutional amendment that will fix this which is of course a long slog for mariachi, but we are all about endurance and focus, verdad?
And we mariachi are each teachers too. It comes with the territory. So let us educate our brothers and sisters on this issue since we must all be engaged to change our political culture lest what freedom is still left be commodified and sold.
As has been said before: we get the system we deserve. And the apathetic get a system that abuses the 99%. To achieve a system that is humane, we must educate and we must run for office. We must also change the terms of political discourse and refocus the public’s morality—this will be a major point for all Mariachi Commandos.
Sister mariachi Rachel Maddow speaks here of an example of how ridiculous campaign finance has become. She speaks of political action committees (PACs) which are the prime vehicle for financing public political campaigns.
Indeed, the amount of money funneled by a few individuals (they can be counted on one hand), amounting to many millions in this 2012 election cycle, into the campaign coffers speaks to the wholesale purchase of American democracy. Follow the money and you will see all.
The true absurdity of today’s campaign finance laws is exposed by an incredulous Stephen Colbert in the clip linked herein when he learns a 501c4 political action group (which has an unlimited cap for donations, which can only fund issues and not candidates, and which is not required to disclose donors) can give money to a regular political action group (which can only fund candidates, and is required to disclose funds, but which can receive money from 501c4 from ‘anonymous’ donors)!
Colbert asks what the difference is between this and money-laundering.
The answer is revealing.